It's Never Too Late:

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IT’S NEVER TOO LATE was first presented by Sally Hughes at The Mill at Sonning Theatre on February 22nd. 2005.

The cast was as follows:
SUSAN SHAW - Tina Gray
LINDA BRIDGES - Helen Cotterill
PETER BRIDGES - Nick Burnell
HENRY - Terence Booth
THOMAS - Mark Bixter
RICHARD SHAW - Ron Aldridge

Directed by Ron Aldridge
Designed by Tony Eden
Lighting designed by Matthew Biss
Assistant director Jo Vimpany


What happens when your husband leaves for a younger woman?
How do you kick-start your life when you’ve never had to work?
How do you cope with the realisation that time is not on your side?

Susan Shaw at 58 finds herself in exactly this position.
She’s run the home, brought-up her daughter, and had a very busy life involved with charities, village-hall committees etc.
So what does she do now,.............cry all day?
Fellow committee members offer all kinds of advice;  think of yourself for once, resurrect an old flame, get a job, get fit, get a toy-boy..........................
Susan decides to take action, and this very funny, and at times very tender play follows Susan as she attempts a new start in life in the belief that ‘it’s never too late’, and finds herself presented with a most surprising choice to make.
From the author of ‘You’re Only Young Twice’, a feelgood, fun-filled evening is guaranteed.


‘Premiere production is just perfect’

From the moment it starts, Ron Aldridge’s latest play, It’s Never Too Late, takes you on a rollercoaster ride of emotion.  Fast and funny, the premiere production at The Mill at Sonning will also have you fighting back the tears as you accompany 57 year old Susan Shaw on her journey from abandoned housewife to liberated woman.
Ron and his cast waste no time preparing you for the entertainment to come.
As soon as she opens her mouth in the opening scene, Tina Gray as Susan, is in full pelt, shouting the odds down the phone at her errant husband as her fellow committee members sit listening and making their own comments.
The dialogue hits you between the eyes, and continues at a cracking pace right up until the last line.  In between there are plenty of laughs, lots of clever quips and down-to-earth philosophising, but most of all, the play gives hope to women of a certain age.
Tina is every inch the wronged woman, who rises from the shackles of committees and charities to find herself the object of more than one man’s desires.
Helen Cotterill as her closest buddy, Linda, helps her to make the best of herself – even to the point where the two of them have a ‘keep-fit’ class on stage!
It’s Never To Late may have been written by a man, but it’s the women who have the strongest characters.
As the play says:  It’s a new start and you are never too old to dream.  I hope Ron Aldridge’s dreams of taking this new play places comes true.  It certainly deserves to – I couldn’t find fault with any of it.

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UK National Tour – Produced and Directed by Ian Dickens
Cast – Joanna Van Gyseghem, Jeffrey Holland, Judy Buxton, Michael Shaw, Ian Saynor, Philip York and Stan Pretty. 

Wolverhampton Grand Theatre – Review 
‘It’s Never Too Late’ by Ron Aldridge
‘Playing a dating game.’

When Susan Shaw’s husband announces he has found a younger woman and wants a divorce as she approaches her 58th birthday, she decides it’s never too late to kick-start her own life.
And that leads to a string of hilarious situations when her friends offer advice on a new direction, and two colleagues on the village fete committee even fall out vying to be her ‘toy boy’.
Ron Aldridge’s comedy is beautifully staged as the penultimate offering in Ian Dickens Productions’ successful summer play season that has been delighting large audiences at the Grand.

Joanna Van Gyseghem is superb as the wronged Susan who starts to accept her friends’ advice to be more selfish by booting out their regular committee meetings, with food and drink provided at her home.
Shapely Judy Buxton excels as Susan’s pal, Linda Bridges, earning warm applause for her get-fit sessions, though Joanna looked more 88 than 58 in her attempts to copy the younger actress, whose real-life husband, Walsall-born Jeffrey Holland, impressed in the role of her plain-speaking husband, Peter Bridges.
Michael Shaw (Thomas) and Stan Pretty (Henry) sparkled as Susan’s would-be veteran toy boys, while Ian Saynor, the want-away husband, turns up late in the show with a surprise proposition of his own.
Great production, beautifully written – a real treat.

Thursday August 5th, 2010

Swansea Grand Theatre – Review
‘It’s Never Too Late’ by Ron Aldridge
‘Subtle Fare with beautiful script’

The latest Summer Repertory Season at the Grand is proving to be an especially strong one, and I have already heard feedback from patrons commending producer/director Ian Dickens not for the choice of individual plays, but rather the type of plays on offer this year.
The latest production is a case in point;  not a rollicking farce, but a beautifully written and performed piece of theatre that is akin to well-loved series such as ‘As Time Goes By’ and ‘A Fine Romance’ in terms of its pace and characterisation.  Rarely have I found myself so totally absorbed in the verbal exchanges that take place during a play, and writer Ron Aldridge is particularly skilled at portraying strongly defined female characters.
Joanna Van Gyseghem is utterly delightful in the central role of Susan Shaw, whose husband has ditched her for a younger model.  Aided by her friend and mentor Linda, (a great performance from Judy Buxton), she sets out to battle her way through her midlife crisis, initially through physical exercise and finding herself a toyboy – but life is never that simple, and as the story develops she finds herself being sought after by two lifelong friends, the seemingly straight-laced Henry, (a delightful Stan Pretty), and nerdy statistician Thomas, ( a wonderfully funny Michael Shaw).
After a while, her erring husband Richard, (beautifully played by Ian Saynor), turns up to try and make amends, to the great displeasure of Susan’s would-be suitors.
Many of the best lines come from Jeffrey Holland as Linda’s socially inept and totally tactless husband Peter, whose blundering comments provide some of the play’s funniest moments.
This is lovely stuff, and should satisfy those who appreciate gentle humour and a warm literate script in which the characters are well drawn and vividly brought to life in a first-rate production.
‘It’s Never Too Late’ ends its run at the Grand on Saturday – heartily recommended.
Graham Williams


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